Lifted Voices is an action oriented organization aimed at defending the lives and rights of women and non binary people of color. Through direct action, community dialogue and self defense curriculums, we seek to empower and protect ourselves, and one another.
Lifted Voices is a product of necessity. As women and non binary people of color, our issues have been chronically erased and co-opted. We are too often talked over, freely sexualized or simply forgotten in larger dialogues. Even those who claim to “center” our interests too often step in front of cameras and microphones, displacing us to lay out the terms of our liberation. Racism is explained to us by people who’ve never experienced it. Abuse is doled out by supposed allies, and the privileged pardon one another for their offenses. Lifted Voices is a response to the failures of white feminism. It is a response to the disproportionate dangers we face as women and non binary people of color, and the need for an organization – led by us, for us – that functions in our defense.
Working at the intersections of our oppressions, we are building a praxis that not only recognizes our respective struggles, but also creates spaces for honest dialogue. We believe that we, as marginalized people, must explore the ways in which we have internalized our oppression, and the ways in which we have perpetuated the oppression of others at the behest of white supremacy. We do this without any punitive aim and in the interest of transformation. By building community, building culture and taking action in defense of ourselves and our lives, we lift our own voices.
All of Lifted Voices’ core organizers and network members identify as women or non binary people of color, but men and white allies who are comfortable following the leadership of women and non binary people of color are welcome in our community. We will host regular community events where the participation and assistance of allies will be welcome and appreciated. We will, however, not entertain debates about whether white allies or men should be involved in our decision making processes. Our existence requires no justification, and none will be offered. We are here to stand up, to push back and to build forward. We hope you’ll join us.